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'Deliberately misleading': Farmers' group calls for ban on use of 'burger' and 'steak' on vegan products

The European Parliament will vote this week on terminology used for vegan products.

Image: Shutterstock/Joshua Resnick

THE IRISH FARMERS’ Association (IFA) has urged Irish MEPs to vote to ban words traditionally linked to meat products from being used on vegetarian alternatives.

The European Parliament is to vote this week on the terminology used for plant-based meat and dairy substitutes.

Two amendments to a text proposed by the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development (AGRI) would restrict the naming of such products so that they could not use terms normally associated with meat products.

One amendment would curtail the use of terms such as ‘steak’, ‘sausage’, ‘escalope’, ‘burger’ or ‘hamburger’ on products that do not exclusively contain meat.

And a second amendment would prevent the terms ‘milk’, ‘cheese’, ‘yoghurt’, ‘butter’ and ‘whey’ from being used on products that do not exclusively contain dairy.

Ahead of the vote, the IFA has written to MEPs urging them to accept both amendments to protect Irish consumers and the agricultural industry here.

“We simply cannot have plant-based products deliberately disguised as something they are not,” IFA President Tim Cullinan said.

He also claimed that a “powerful lobby” in Europe wanted to reject the amendments, meaning it was crucial that Irish MEPs listen to farmers and pass them.

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“It’s deliberately misleading to our consumers and undermines our industry,” Cullinan added.

“Private companies want to cash in on our reputation and use it to sell their products.”

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